Golden Globes Beauty Review: Strong and Soft

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Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Biel and Rachel Brosnahan opted for more subtle and classic glamour.

Actress’ red-carpet beauty looks are generally dictated by the color and style of their dress. This year, given that the sartorial mandate was black, beauty (makeup, specifically) could really have gone in any direction.

But surprisingly, we saw just a few directions — classic with a bold red statement lip or overwhelmingly clean, simple and understated (save for Viola Davis, who wore a '70s-inspired smatter of bronze eye shadow and lipstick, full eyelashes and her hair natural).

According to several celebrity makeup artists, the absence of color in the clothing let their client’s strength, individuality and personal beauty shine through.

“In honor of tonight’s historic awards ceremony I wanted Reese’s look to have a feminine quality," said Molly R. Stern, Reese Witherspoon’s longtime makeup artist of the inspiration for the actress’ beauty look. “I wanted to celebrate the fact that now is the time for women to embrace their power and what better muse than Reese Witherspoon. Wearing a custom Zac Posen gown, she looked strong and soft. Exactly what women are.”

Stern used makeup from Elizabeth Arden on Witherspoon, who serves as the brand’s “storyteller-in-chief."

Jessica Biel, Rachel Brosnahan, Michelle Williams, Dakota Johnson and Greta Gerwig all also wore relatively natural makeup.

“(The Times Up movement) didn’t effect the way I did makeup for tonight,” says Gerwig’s makeup artist, Jenn Streicher.  “If anything, I think a lot of people were looking to use makeup to show their individuality.”

The makeup showed a sense of ease and freedom from the sometimes-excessive eyelashes and overdone bronzer that makes its way onto the red carpet, reflecting the evening’s message and putting the woman first.